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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Baby Blanket Attachment

Baby Blanket Attachment

Although many children become attached to something, maybe a favorite stuffed animal or toy, when they are babies, many parents show concern when their child becomes attached to their "baby blanket" and that attachment carries over into early adolescence.

Fortunately for those overly concerned parents there is good news. Many studies have been done on the subject and there are currently no findings that show any adverse affects to having such an attachment. Instead, repeated studies have shown that children that develop an attachment to security blankets are often better at socializing and better at controlling their emotions.

Baby blanket attachment is a healthy attachment that allows the child to handle stressful situations such as the beginning of preschool, a doctor's visit or the fear of meeting someone new. Children who use a security blanket show greater coping skills and a broader openness to learning in new situations.
For children, this attachment usually begins between the ages of 18 to 24 months and begins to wane around 36 months. During this stage, the blanket attachment is an extension to the attachment they feel for their mother and is seen by doctors as a healthy behavior that suggests a comfortable relationship between parent and child.

Even children who continue to use their blankets in stressful situations past the age of three are deemed healthy. Research suggests that the use of a security blanket to soothe fears in children 3 to 7 years of age enables them to learn self-calming skills and self-reliance.

If the idea of your child dragging around a security blanket still bothers you it is important to keep in mind that most children will give up their blankets on their own once they reach school age. Peer pressure and the need to fit in will help your child see that other kids are not carrying blankets and they will most likely start limiting their use of a security blanket to bedtime, or at the very least, times when they are alone or only with family.

If your child still has a security blanket after the age of five, it is best to institute some rules of usage. This would be the time that parents should limit the blankets use to juts bedtime and home alone time. These same rules should be applied to older kids. Even children as old as 15 can benefit from the calming effects of a security blanket if it is used discretely.

If you still feel as though the idea of a security blanket for children over five is a bad idea, there are a few techniques you can use to end your child's reliance.
• Have a goodbye blanket party. Spend a few weeks preparing your child for giving up their blanket. Use the concept of being a big girl or boy to entice them into complying with the idea. As the party day nears, enlist your child's help in planning the party. Make a cake, buy or make decorations, serve your child's favorite food. Try to make the party atmosphere as happy and positive as possible. The most important part of the party should be the blanket. Decorate a pretty box or buy a cool treasure chest for future storage. Allow your child to say goodbye to their blanket and let them be the one to place the blanket inside.
• Turn their blanket into a pillow. If actually giving up their blanket seems to be too hard for your child, you can always turn the blanket into a pillow that they can keep on their bed. All children have pillows, so there won't be any negative issues attached to the pillow. To do this, simply sew up three side of the blanket and then stuff it with batting or foam. Once it is tightly filled, simply stitch up the remaining side.

• Make a trade. For some children the idea of trading in their blanket for a much-coveted toy can work to end their blanket attachment. Discuss the idea thoroughly with your child, and then decide on a fair trade. Once you have decided on an item, purchase the item and then make the exchange. Make sure to explain to your child that by taking the new toy they are giving up their blanket, they cannot have both. Also, make sure that no matter how much your child begs for the blanket after making the trade, you do not give in and give it to them. If you give in, you will not be able to use this technique again because your child will not take the trade seriously.


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